Rushville Townshipwas the home of the earliest pioneer in Schuyler County, and it dates itshistory from February, 1823. Nor could those early pioneers have founda more suitable location. There was timber in plenty and an abundance ofsparkling spring water, and the rich prairie land had natural drainagethat allowed the cultivation of the deep black loam soil by the first settlers,who harvested abundant crops with but little labor.
These same lands where thefirst homeseeker broke the sod are the finest in Schuyler County, and morethan eighty years of constant cultivation has not impaired their fertility.But to this limited area of prairie land has been added a valuable areaof land that, in those early days, was thickly covered with timber. Wherethe giant forest stood are now cultivated fields, save along the streamswhere the marketable timber has been removed and the young growth leftstanding.
Rushville Township is underlaidalmost entirely by an excellent vein of coal. Along the streams the coalseams crop out, and they furnished coal in the early days with but littleeffort on the part of the miner. Best results, however, are obtained bythe shaft mines, and coal is found from forty to fifty feet below the surface.The vein varies in thickness from four to five feet and is of fine quality.Although extensively mined near Rushville and Pleasantview, it can be saidthat there are yet hundreds of acres of the finest coal lands in Illinoisyet undeveloped in Rushville Township, and this great store house of mineralwealth will one day add immensely to the wealth of the property owners.
Inasmuch as the story ofthe early settlement of Rushville Township is so closely associated withthe general history of the county, it would mean but a repetition of otherchapters to go into detail. But it can here be said that the location ofthe county seat on the southwest quarter of Section 30 was a most fortunateone, for with Crooked Creek running through the center of the county asoriginally formed, it was the natural result that the county would be dividedand, after this division, Rushville was almost the geographical centerof what became known is Schuyler County.
The only other town in RushvilleTownship is Pleasantville, located on the south half of Section 36. Thetown was laid out and platted by Ebenezer Dimmick, who was the first merchantand Postmaster.
Pleasantview is surroundedby a rich agricultural country and, in addition, there are several coalmines in operation there, which add to the wealth and prosperity of thevillage.
The total population of RushvilleTownship in l900, including the larger part of the City of Rushville, was2,893 of which 1,663 was within the city limits.
Excerpted from HistoricalEncyclopedia of Illinois and History of Schuyler County, 1908, editedby Howard F. Dyson.
Transcribed by Karl A. Petersenfor Schuyler County ILGenWeb
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